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407

North, lak they done. All the buffalo trails run north-south,
and hit was spring. They was move-en north, and fer as a
man could see, hit was buffalo. They was that thick. No
pore human man could name their number, only the Lord
on high. That a-way, and no man to say the end. But I seen
'em lay, skinned and stinken, black-en the ground fer what a
man could ride half a day. A man couldn't breathe fresh fer
the stinken. And before you knowed hit, they wasn't no
buffalo in Kansas. You could go a hull day and see nary a
one. 'Hit's me fer Oklahoma,' Mingo said, 'whar thar's
buffalo yit. Down Cimarron way, or Beaver Crick/

"'Hit's Indian contry/ I said, 'I ain't a-relishen no
Indians/

"'They's fellers been down thar and done right good/
Mingo said. 'I heared tell of a feller come out with nigh
on to a thousand hides, and not down thar no time/

"'And fellers been down thar and ain't come back/ I
said,

"'Indians/ Mingo said, *I fit Indians down in Oklahoma,
when I was freighten. Hit ain't nuthen to brag on. They
ain't got nuthen lak this-here/ And he give his Sharp's a
little hist. 'The guns they got, ain't no white man would
have 'em/

"'I ain't skeered/ I said, 'but hit ain't the law. Hit's
Indian country down thar, by law/

"' Indian country/ and Mingo give a spit, * hit ain't Indian
country fer long, A feller from Dodge City said they's a
gang gitten ready to go down fer buffalo, all together. Said
Myers was gonna go down and buy hides and set up to do
business right thar, down in Oklahoma, or maybe Texas
toward the Canadian. Hit's big doens/

'"You figgeren on goen down with 'em?' I ast him.

"' Naw/ Mingo said,' folks gits under my feet/

" We went down to Oklahoma, just us and our skinners.
New skinners, they was, our old skinners quitten, nor wanten
to go to Indian country. We got two new ones, a French
feller and a nigger. We had to give 'em eighty dollars a